Brief guide on what Millennials can do to help achieve the third Sustainable Development Goal
Good health and well-being are both essential aspects of sustainable development, because it’s undeniable that when people are in good health, societies prosper. In fact, workers from all over the world and from all types of industries can maximize their productivity, only if they are in good health. It could then be stated that all the other SDGs, that focus on economic growth, are therefore somewhat dependent on SDG number 3.
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), considerable progress has been made in recent years, thanks to improved health care services in numerous countries around the world. For example, life expectancy in developing countries has raised from 40 to 70 years and child mortality rates have fallen from 89 to 51 per 1.000 live births between 1990 and 2011.
Although we should definitely be proud of these achievements, unfortunately there still are a lot of people around the world, especially in developing countries, who die prematurely because of totally preventable diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. Talking about youth: according to the WHO, HIV is currently the main cause of adolescent deaths in Africa and the second biggest cause of death of adolescents globally. Sadly, girls (aged 10-19) and young women are the number one victims of these diseases, mostly due to the violence and gender-based discrimination that put them at a higher risk of contracting diseases.
The statistics are pretty scary and although we are perfectly aware that it’s not in everyone’s possibility to become a doctor and head to Africa to save lives, there still are other ways in which us, young people, can give our small, but nevertheless important, contribution to achieving global well-being.
- You could join one of the numerous volunteer programs for youth, held by the Red Cross, such as leadership camps focusing on health.
- You could join the Rotary Club, an international organization that provides humanitarian services, in their current initiative to end Polio globally.
- You yourself can avoid habits like excessive smoking and drinking, to prevent not only your own health, but also the one of those around you.
- Get vaccinated.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about sexual and reproductive health in your family and with your doctor; sexual education is the number one step to prevent diseases such as HIV.
- Last but not least, take care of yourself by leading a healthy lifestyle: eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
These are just a few tips, but just by following a couple of them, you would already be making a difference! And if you are already involved with any initiative aimed at reaching global good health and well-being, don’t waste any more time and join our competition here: https://goo.gl/5LUfP2 .
Cover cartoon credit: Sergio Algeri/GYV